Solved: Flams coming off a rest not playing.


I'm having an issue where flams that are written after a rest don't play.  See attachment ";Flam_after_rest.gif";

However, if I put a note before the flammed note, both play as flams.  See attachment ";Flam_after_note.gif";

It doesn't seem to be related to the sample rate/buffer size/latency since it plays the same if I export the score to an aiff file and play it in iTunes.  But in case they do they are the default of 1024 samples/44100 Hz/30.52ms.  Thank you for any input.

Sean - thanks for taking the time to let us know what solved your problem. It can be frustrating trying to solve hardware problems within software only to learn that you were looking under the wrong rock. Hopefully you can now focus on more important matters like writing music! :)

Thank you very much to all who offered help.  Ugh, only took me 3 days to isolate the problem.  Explaining the situation to the forum was the main part in tracking it down, specifically last night when I explained that it would work if I quickly repeated the measure, but wouldn't work if I allowed the sound to decay to silence.  The issue is my speakers (I hate everything Logitech makes, why do I keep buying their stuff?).  They are hooked to my Mac via an optical link cord.  Normally when nothing is coming out of them the LED screen on the controller says ";Input: Optical1    No Digital Data";.  When sound starts to play it changes to ";Input: Optical1    Effect: PLII Music";.  What Sibelius has exposed is that there is a very slight delay between when the controller starts receiving digital data from the optical link and when the speakers start producing sound.  This delay is gobbling up the short duration grace note.  I verified my theory by changing Sibelius' Audio Interface from ";Built-in Digital Output (CoreAudio)"; to ";Built-in Output (CoreAudio)";.  I didn't know where my analog cords for the speakers were so I just plugged earphones into the front of the Mac and there the missing grace note was every time.  I suspect if I had used the analog wires for the speakers it would've worked too since that should keep a constant electrical connection unlike the optical which appears to shut the connection to the speakers down when it stops receiving data.  There is the faintest little pop/crackle from the speakers at that point and the display changes from ";Effect: PLII Music"; back to ";No Digital Data";.  When I was repeating the measure over and over and getting it to work over the optical link, I was starting the repeat before the display changed back to ";No Digital Data";.  So hopefully this post will save someone else a lot of time if they happen to have a similar setup as mine.  If nothing else, it forced me to get very familiar with Sibelius' menus and the 632 page reference manual. :)


Playback Preferences:  I recommend that you uncheck the box that says ";Use same slot for similar instruments";. I think you will have better overall results if all of your staves/instruments have their own dedicated slot/channel.

It appears that the grace note of the flam doesn't play when there has been a pause in the output.  If I select the measure and press P for play, the first time playback comes to the first grace note, it doesn't play.  But if as soon as the 2 flammed eighth notes are finished playing, I hit the escape key and then P again it will play that first grace note.  I can keep doing this over and over and get that first grace note to play every time.  But if I let the playback go a little farther after two notes and let the playback sounds sort of decay into silence, then restart playback again, that first grace note won't play.  It's like the kontakt player sleeps after all sound has decayed out, and when that first grace note wakes it up, it drops it.  I'd be interested to know if anyone else can duplicate the problem.  Two measures of rest, followed by two flammed eighth notes on beat one of the next measure, played at 100 bpm using Snareline Manual.  Attached is a screenshot of my Playback Preferences.  Thanks.

Yes, Snareline Manual.  The noteheads are correct.  At the time of posting I didn't know that the physical proximity of the engraved note affected playback, which was unexpected.  After reading some other posts, mainly be people wanting their flams to play tighter, I went the other way and dragged the grace note farther away from the first note which got the grace note to play.  The default note spacing in the house style is 0.1 for space around the grace notes and 0.1 for space after the last note.  Another post said set them to 0 and 0.1 which I tried, but that of course brings them even closer so I started putting larger values into the end space.  I had to go past 1.0 to get it to pick up the grace note, but there's a fine line between it playing a flam and having it play more of a ";fladack";.  I'm not sure I'm going down the right path here as it seems smaller values for space around the grace notes is what other people are using.

This does seem odd.

Sean - I can't quite tell, but from your screenshot, it looks like you're hearing this on the Snareline Manual instrument. Is this correct?  If so, check your notehead numbers to be sure the grace note is a LH (before a RH hit) or vice versa.

LH hits are notehead 0
RH hits are notehead 31

You can check these via the ";Properties"; window. If you discover that all the notheads are the same, try changing them to reflect the proper stickings and see if the problem persists.  Let us know what you find.
I've moved the playback settings all up and down with no luck.  Not a thick score, just had those 2 notes in it.  I tried creating the grace not first and the eighth note first with the same note.  Odd that it works for you and not me.  Hopefully someone here will know the answer.  I suspect trying to talk drums on the Sibelius board could prove unpleasant.  :)

That's a strange issue.  I tried to recreate what you did and didn't have any problems.  I entered flams both with a MIDI keyboard and by clicking with the mouse.  You might want to raise your settings to 2048 samples if you're working with a thick score.  The official Sibelius forums might have an answer- don't let them blame VDL either :)

(edited to add)

Just curious- what happens when you try it with a non-VDL instrument on a new score that isn't the VDL template?
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